Nearly 700 people have died from a three-day heatwave in southern Pakistan, as medics battled to treat victims after a state of emergency was declared in hospitals.

The majority of the deaths occurred in the port city of Karachi, where Pakistan’s Meteorological Office said temperatures remained at around 44.5 Degrees Celsius yesterday.

The deaths came as the overwhelmingly Muslim country observes the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which eating and drinking is forbidden from sunrise to sunset.

Officials have been criticized for not doing enough to tackle the crisis.

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